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Marina Gromova & Steve Carle

BS Business Administration ’12 & BS Mathematics ’99

Marina Gromova '12 & Steve Carle '99

What do you enjoy most about being regional alumni network volunteers – first in San Fran and now in London?  
Steve: We’ve found that the Drexel community is proud and strong. When we moved to San Francisco in 2014, it felt like a big shift from East Coast to West Coast. Marina was looking for a new job and decided to utilize the Drexel network. Within a couple emails we found ourselves connected back into the University and our new home started to feel more familiar. 

In both San Francisco and now London, we’ve really enjoyed staying connected back to the University. We’ve met so many people and made great connections that led to unforgettable experiences. We met Billy Brandreth ’93 in San Francisco and when he learned that we were moving to London he connected us with the London Stock Exchange Ski Club. A few months later, we ended up attending the club’s 50th anniversary dinner at the top of the famous London Tower Bridge. We had so much fun, met new people and danced on the glass floor looking down on the Thames.  

Staying connected and helping to connect others in our new home, wherever that may be, has been truly rewarding.   

Why did you decide to move to London?  
Steve: We both are always on the lookout for new opportunities and in early 2018, I was offered a position in London. Luckily, Marina’s company was also open to her relocation. We both have a passion for travel and having London as a launching pad for Europe felt like an opportunity that we couldn’t pass up.

What do you do for work?  
Steve: I work at BlackRock as head of the Investment Platform Team in EMEA. In my current role, I’m focused on the firm’s sustainability initiatives -- a very exciting place to be within the asset management industry these days. 

Marina: I left Moody’s Analytics last year to work on my start up idea. I am currently looking for CTO & COO and would love to partner with another Dragon. 

What’s a fun fact about each of you?  
Steve: I have driven in all 50 States (if you count driving a dog sled in Alaska).

Marina: I’ve visited over 200 wineries and decided to get a diploma in wines at Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) in London. 

What piece of advice would you give to our newest alumni?  
Steve: Always be curious, ask questions, give thanks to those that help you, be helpful to others whenever you can – and don’t forget to pause and celebrate your wins!

Marina: I would say don’t be afraid to take initiative, raise your hand, and lean in!

How did your co-op experiences prepare you for the workforce?  
Steve: My first co-op was with a little-known company in Radnor, Pennsylvania. The co-op manager, Bob, was very meticulous and had a reputation for being very tough. About a month into my co-op, I decided to go beyond my role and analyze our sales reporting software. I uncovered what I thought to be a computational error, so I raised it to Bob. There was an error; my discovery saved the firm quite a bit of money and made Bob extremely happy. I learned that it pays to be curious and that you always need to speak up. It was the reputation I earned on that co-op that was all the background I needed to land the full-time job with BlackRock! 

Marina: I remember going to my first co-op at CHUB and being really nervous that I wouldn’t be good at it because I knew nothing about insurance. However, I eventually realized that I could take small steps to climb what seemed like a huge mountain. I learned that you must break a large problem into small wins. As you start to complete those tasks, the gap from where you are to where your goal is gets narrower.